Schemas are abstract mental representations that influence perceptual and memory processes. Schemas can aide memory for information that is related or congruent with a given schema (i.e., schematic information), yet it is unclear how schemas affect memory for information that does not directly relate to the schema (i.e., non-schematic information). Using a novel scene paradigm, the current series of studies investigated how schemas affect memory for schematic and non-schematic information, as well as how directed encoding influences remembering of both types of information in younger and older adults. Results showed poorer accurate recognition of non-schematic information relative to schematic information, influenced largely by a bias in identifying non-schematic items as “new”. While directed encoding was able to increase remembering of non-schematic information and decrease bias across both age groups, the present set of studies highlights the pervasive influence of a schema on memory for non-schematic information.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Cognitive Neuroscience